Visit to a Small Planet Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Ellen do in response?

2. Who does Kreton try to recruit to mate with Ellen?

3. Why has Reba had a bad morning?

4. What does Ellen want Kreton to teach her after the first mind trick?

5. Who joins in with Kreton as he sings at the end of Act II?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What do you think Vidal was trying to say about the political situation of the world in the 1950s? Why? What are possible reasons for this? What was he trying to say about the U.S. government? About the Russian government? Be sure to be very specific in your answer, and include information from the book to back your argument.

Essay Topic 2

One of the themes that runs through the play is the infatuation of the characters with sex. Ellen, Conrad, Reba, and the aide all think at various times in the novel of sex and sexual relations. Vidal seems to use the play to explore the attitudes of Americans in the time period toward sex.

Choose one of the following options and address/discuss the questions:

1. Give several examples of what the characters in the play think of sex. Is it portrayed as a method of procreation, or an enjoyable pastime? What are the symbolic links presented? Why are these important?

2. Ellen notes that sex is a taboo subject, although is it always on the mind. Kreton notes the oddity of sex as taboo while violence is widespread. What do you think of that argument? Is Kreton right? Why do we treat these subjects as we do? What makes sex so taboo?

3. The concept of sex has drastically changed since the writing of the play. Compare and contrast the concept of sex as it was in the 1950s to current notions. What are similarities? What are differences? What caused the shift in perspective?

Essay Topic 3

In the book, there are several references made to time travel, and the effects of such an event. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. If Kreton's war had taken place, would history have changed? Why? What was Kreton's intended result? Would that have affected the future of the planet? Why or why not?

2. Kreton notes that history books would have to be altered. In real life, are history books ever changed? Why or why not? What does this say about time? What does this say about our perception of time? Was Kreton right, therefore, when he said time was relative? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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